AFC West: 2013 Week 14 Upon Further Review

SAN DIEGO -- An examination of four hot issues from the San Diego Chargers' 37-14 win over the New York Giants.

Allen
Woodhead
Allen breaks record: Not even a shoulder injury could slow down receiver Keenan Allen, who set a rookie franchise record for receptions in a season with his three-catch, two-touchdown performance against the Giants, Allen’s first multi-touchdown game of the season. The Cal product now has 61 catches for 902 yards and five touchdowns, eclipsing the team record of 59 catches set by LaDainian Tomlinson in 2001. Allen needs 100 receiving yards to top John Jefferson’s rookie single-season receiving-yards record of 1,001 in 1978. Allen finished with three receptions for 59 yards against the Giants, including an impressive 43-yard touchdown reception in which he tightroped the sideline and dived for the pylon for the score. “That’s awesome when you think about all the receivers that have been through here,” quarterback Philip Rivers said about Allen setting the team record.

Woodhead breaks out: Running back Danny Woodhead finished with two receptions for 13 yards and was targeted just three times against Cincinnati last week. The only other games this season in which Woodhead was targeted three times or fewer was against Houston (three) and Miami (two) -- both losses for the Chargers. But Woodhead broke out against the Giants, finishing with four catches for 52 yards, including a 6-yard score and a spectacular 39-yard circus catch where he tipped the ball to himself and hauled the ball in before falling to the ground. Check out the play here.

Turnover eruption: The Chargers managed just seven turnovers through the first 10 games of the season but now have forced seven turnovers in the past three games, including a season-high three turnovers that led to 14 points against the Giants. San Diego is now 4-1 when the team wins the turnover battle.

Happy birthday, Philip: Rivers celebrated his 32nd birthday in style on Sunday with another impressive performance. Rivers completed 21 of 28 passes (75 percent) for 249 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions for a season-high 137.4 passer rating. Rivers leads the league in completion percentage at 70.3 percent. He now has 26 touchdown passes on the season, joining Drew Brees and Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with at least 25 touchdown passes in six straight seasons.

Upon Further Review: Broncos Week 14

December, 9, 2013
12/09/13
8:00
AM ET
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- An examination of four hot issues from the Denver Broncos' 51-28 win over the Tennessee Titans.

[+] EnlargeDenver's Wes Welker
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty ImagesWes Welker's touchdown gives the Broncos four players with at least 10 touchdowns.
Balanced history: The Broncos' offense continues to vex defensive coordinators around the league because of the assortment of options for quarterback Peyton Manning. And when Manning connected with Wes Welker on a 1-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter Sunday, the Broncos became the first team in the league's history to have four players with at least 10 touchdowns. Welker had his 10th touchdown reception of the season on Sunday, while tight end Julius Thomas and receiver Demaryius Thomas each had his 11th. In addition, running back Knowshon Moreno scored a rushing touchdown, giving him 11 total TDs this season (two receiving, nine rushing). The Broncos have been able to move the ball to wherever the single coverage is and adjust to most any defensive approach.

Second impression: One of the most powerful words any of the Broncos have uttered of late has been "defer." The Broncos love to defer when they win the coin flip, so they have the first possession of the second half. Sunday was the sixth time the Broncos have won the coin toss, elected to defer and then used that opening possession of the second half to score a touchdown. The only time they have won the toss, deferred and not scored a touchdown to open the second half was in their loss in Indianapolis. This season, the Broncos have scored on their first possession of the second half nine times -- eight touchdowns and one field goal.

Tamme now slot machine: When Welker left the game just before halftime with a concussion, the Broncos had used a three-receiver set on every offensive snap to that point. After Welker left, the Broncos moved to a two-tight-end look, but still played like a three-wide look because of what tight end Jacob Tamme can do. Tamme took Welker's spot in the slot, which is how Tamme had lined up in the offense last season much of the time before Welker's arrival. Tamme was effective as he finished with 47 yards on five catches. It will allow the Broncos to use that three-wide section of the playbook moving forward with Welker unlikely to play Thursday night against the Chargers.

Special concerns: For the second consecutive week, a mix-and-match group on special teams allowed a big kickoff return. In Kansas City a week ago it was a 108-yarder by Knile Davis, and Sunday it was a 95-yarder by Leon Washington. The Broncos aren't consistently getting off blocks of late, and returners are finding some gaps the Broncos weren't leaving behind earlier this season. Those are momentum plays, the kind, at the wrong time of a season, even the Broncos' offense won't be able to overcome.

Upon Further Review: Raiders Week 14

December, 9, 2013
12/09/13
8:00
AM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- An examination of four hot issues from the Oakland Raiders' 37-27 loss to the New York Jets:

[+] EnlargeTerrelle Pryor
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty ImagesTerrelle Pryor helped get the Raiders on the board with a 14-play drive that resulted in a field goal.
One more time again: Sure, we hit this hard in the aftermath of the game, but it's such a tongue-wagger, it deserves more discussion. Terrelle Pryor replacing Matt McGloin at quarterback for the Raiders' third possession of the game was part of the game plan. And no, McGloin was not thrilled with it, even if he knew it was coming. But here's where it got sticky: Pryor moved the offense, racking up five first downs in driving Oakland downfield for the Raiders' first points of the game on a Sebastian Janikowski field goal, and he did it after McGloin stalled. And yet coach Dennis Allen said there was no thought of going back to Pryor later, because McGloin found a rhythm. Get it? But what if Allen had been so impressed with Pryor he had left him in?

More SeaBass issues: We already knew that Janikowski was enduring his roughest season kicking field goals since 2005 -- his 2013 percentage was 11 points below his career percentage entering the season -- but he again had a costly miss on which the game turned. The left-footed Janikowski pulled his 52-yarder wide right in the first quarter from the right hashmark, his second miss from the right side this season. It essentially negated Kevin Burnett's interception and, helped with a short field, the Jets scored a touchdown three plays later for a 10-0 lead. "Those are momentum builders," Allen said, "and momentum killers. We thought field position in this game was going to be a critical factor." Janikowski has now missed eight field goal attempts this season, after missing seven the previous two seasons combined. His current season field goal percentage of 69.2 would be the third-lowest of his career (68.8 in 2000 and 66.7 in 2005).

Injuries: Three players did not finish the game for the Raiders: rookie linebacker Sio Moore (neck), defensive tackle Vance Walker (concussion) and rookie tight end Nick Kasa (concussion). Plus, the Raiders were already without three running backs in Rashad Jennings (concussion), Darren McFadden (ankle) and Jeremy Stewart (ankle/knee). Jennings took part in limited practice all week but never passed the NFL's concussion protocol. "It was kind of apparent yesterday that he wasn't going to be cleared to play," Allen said. "But it was official this morning."

Of explosive plays XIII: And now for our weekly tracking of "explosive" plays. As deemed by Allen, such a play is one that gains at least 16 yards through the air or 12 yards on the ground. The Raiders had eight such plays against the Jets: five passes and three runs, with a touchdown each way. New York had seven explosive plays: five passes and two runs, also with a touchdown each way. In 13 games, the Raiders have 94 explosive plays (67 passes, 27 runs), with eight passing TDs and four running scores. Oakland's opponents, meanwhile, now have 91 explosive plays combined, 71 passes (eight TDs) and 20 runs (two TDs).

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider